KICKSTARTER IS EXPERIENCING PROBLEMS DUE TO HURRICANE SANDY
You can view the BZB Breadboard videos at our youtube channel:
What is the BZB (BizzyBee) Electronics Exploration Station?
Simply put the BizzyBee is a Breadboard with an Arduino compatible microcontroller built in. Eliminating the middle man.
"But why on earth would you you need to go all high tech just to slice bread?"
No, no, no, not that kind of breadboard, a Solderless Breadboard for Electronics Experimenting, Teaching, Inventing, Creating and Exploring.
Some things just go together, like Milk & Cookies, Salt & Pepper, Black & White, Bert & Ernie, Fire & Ice, Fruit & Loops. Ok, ok, you get the picture, But, previous pairings between the Arduino and a Breadboard weren't quite a perfect fit. There were a few flaws and distractions that kept the combination from being End User Friendly and New User Easy, so we went to the drawing board and began to design an answer to leverage and improve how they worked together.
After a lot of experimentation, a beta test program, and two previous short run releases, we believe we finally found the milk & cookies, Bert & Ernie combination sweet spot that was missing, Each element of the final BZB Breadboard, such as the BZB pin out interface, the Outrigger Extender Interface, the BizzyBee Overlay Curriculum Cards and the incorporation of the Arduino compatible microcontroller directly into the breadboard itself, allowed us to meet our goals and even address a few more.
Units come fully assembled.
15 wires on the Arduino side, 2 wires for exactly the same circuit on the BizzyBee.
On the BizzyBee focus and
learning stays right on the circuit, and because the Arduino
microcontroller is embedded into the Breadboard there is no accidental
separation or having to rebuild parts of the circuit again and again,
due to simple bumps and no "ratsnest" of wires to try to follow, no confusion as you learn, things are much simpler, focused, and stable using the BizzyBee.
The BZB (BizzyBee) Breadboards blend in both End User simplicity for New Explorers as well as add Advanced Feature Sophistication for Power Users, such as the the Outrigger Shield Extender which repairs the "legacy" pin misalignment problem found on all official Arduinos, while maintaining compatibility.
The lessons we learned along the way have allowed us to create a cohesive tool for real world electronics experimentation and exploration and for it to be, WE THINK, the best thing since sliced bread.
The right tool for Arduino Power Users, Educators and New Experimenters alike.
Perfect for experimenting with many projects, ideas and creations that call for electronics circuits or microcontroller control.
The BZB Breadboard with built-in Arduino compatible microcontroller is a great exploration station to Learn, Invent or Create Your Vision, Your Art or Your Next World-changing Idea, it is only limited by your imagination what you can do.
The advanced design elements and the new feature sets "baked right in" make the BZB Breadboard as simple and powerful as PLUG, PLAY, LEARN.
The BizzyBee grows with you, whether you are just starting out, bringing exploration to your classroom or are already a multi-project mastermind, the modular design of the BZB Breadboard system has the versatility that you need.
Below is a more in depth video view of Boz and Zelda, The BZB design decisions and why we are here at Kickstarter.
Be sure to read our FAQ section below on the BZB1, BZB2 and BZB3 Breadboards and find out which Configuration and Reward Choice is just right for you and your needs.
So give a BZB Breadboard with built in Arduino compatible microcontroller a try today !!!
We brought this project to Kickstarter to allow us to do a larger run and share this great tool with more people. This will be our third version and production run of the BZB Breadboard, the beta and version 1 and 2, friends, family and fellow hacker limited production runs were gone so fast we wanted to make sure more people had an opportunity to get their hands on this great tool. We also wanted to introduce more New Users and Educators to the great Arduino platform and the feature rich environment that the BZB Breadboard brings to the table with the microcontroller fully built-in so we brought it to the Kickstarter site for all to all to enjoy.
Who is BZCORE TECHNOLOGIES ?
Daniel "Boz" Krumlauf and Elaine "Zelda" Krumlauf are from Hayward, California, in the heart of the Silicon Valley and we strongly believe it is important that S.T.E.M. teaching be strengthened in Schools, Scouts, Youth organizations and Homes throughout the world.
Our Motto: Learn what you will. Share what you can.
Our Mission: TEACH TECH TODAY!
Modular Design, multiple configurations grow with you as you learn or expand your project base.
The BZB Breadboard comes in 3 major configurations that are each complete Arduino compatibles with enough features for each stage of development you might pass through. The various Reward Choices are combinations of the 3 major configurations to give specialized working environments to best leverage your needs and experimentation.
BZB Breadboards are perfect for Teachers, Artists, Makers, Hobby Engineers, Students, Musicians, Nerds, Consumers, Fashionistas, Hipsters, Dweebs, Car Computer Hackers, Explorers, Experimenters, Mad Scientist, Not So Mad Scientists, The Vaguely or Tragically Not Hip, Hardware Hackers, Tinkerers and so on and so on, well actually, The BZB Breadboard is just right for pretty much any one that wants to teach electronics, from beginner to advanced microcontroller concepts and everything in between, while at the same time being powerful Exploration Stations for anyone who wants to experiment with Electronics and the Arduino microcontroller in an easier and more advanced way than has ever been available before.
The BZB1 Breadboard Configuration.
The BZB1 Breadboard is good for Students, Arduino Power Users who develop multiple projects at a time, and first time Makers and Consumer Experimenters.
The BZB1 is the simplest configuration and has just the main built in Arduino compatible micro-controller processor
board. This brings full Arduino functionality to the breadboard without the usual loss of circuit experimentation space of other solutions.
The configuration is similar to breadboard insertable arduino compatibles such as the Boarduino and ardweeny with out losing the space that an insertable takes up.
When you place an insertable into a breadboard all of the pins that it contacts are "used" up on the breadboard, making them off limits from further use for circuits, even if you don't use those pins in your project.
On the BizzyBee none of pins come in contact with breadboard(because they run down the center) until you connect them,
With low complexity, just what you need Arduino compatible functionality, no extras, no distractions, you get a good combination of a powerful little microcontroller and plenty of solderless breadboard experimentation space for your project's circuits and sensors for less cost than an Arduino UNO R3 by itself.
To load sketches onto the BZB1 you can use a BZB2 or BZB3 which has built in USB serial connectivity or you will need a Sparkfun FTDI DEV-09716
The BZB2 Breadboard Configuration.
The BZB2 Breadboard is great for Advanced Students, First-time Teachers, Artists and anyone that needs to bring Serial and Power to their projects or experimentation. In addition to a great mid-range Arduino feature set including a powerful little microcontroller and plenty of solderless breadboard experimentation space you gain a fully functioning, built in USB FTDI Serial breakout unit and 3.3 and 5 volt power supply module, both of which can also be used for other projects.
The BZB2 Breadboard has a built in fuller feature set and is a One Piece, Less Complicated, and Less Expensive answer to a multiple purchase, combined, similar package made up of a boarduino or ardweeny insertable, standalone FTDI breakout Board, additional power supply and solderless breadboard.
Not only does it do it for less cost to you but, the BZB(BizzyBee) solution still results in more usable breadboard space than a more complicated insertable board would allow.
The BZB2 is a great mid-range Arduino compatible exploration solution.
The BZB3 Breadboard Configuration.
The most feature rich and complex BZB (BizzyBee) Solderless Breadboard, the BZB3 has it all.
The BZB3 is 100% Arduino compatible.
The BZB3 Breadboard with built-in Arduino compatible microcontroller is the perfect Electronics Exploration Station.
The BZB3 brings full shield access and compatibility directly to your breadboard projects. This allows you to use the many inputs outputs and other features the vast Arduino compatible shield library contains, as well leveraging the many Arduino features, community and code sources you have come to expect from the Arduino Open Source Hardware platform.
The BZB3 Breadboard accomplishes theses goals while at the same time adding a number of brand new features not found in original Arduinos, such as the additional .100 pitch shield headers and the easily and fully accessible FTDI header, allowing the BZB3 to be used as standalone FTDI breakout board for your non-Arduino and Arduino projects alike,
The BZB3 does all of this and much, much more, for less cost to you than the standard combination Arduino UNO R3, a plastic mounting plate, and solderless breadboard package that it would take to begin to scratch the surface of the BZB Breadboard design elements, feature set and usability.
Why is the BZB (BizzyBee) better than the common Arduino and breadboard pairing?
The BZB Breadboard eliminates the middle man, no more separation of microcontroller and breadboard. The design process of the BZB Breadboard allowed BZCORE Technologies to build on a solid performing Open Source Hardware base and address many Arduino users wants, needs and even complaints as well as make the platform more accessible to New Users and Educators.
We also used the process to advance and leverage a broader feature set and user interface so that Power Users and Hobby Engineers have enough horsepower and new features to give them room to invent, while at the same time removing barriers and interaction distractions for Education and Educators, First-time Makers and even new consumer Experimenters.
Here are just some of the key new features, updates and advances made in the BZB Breadboard with built in Arduino compatible microcontroller.
- Eliminated the number one Arduino user complaint of wires being pulled out when a breadboard moves, one piece projects, no more wire pulling.
- No need for a separate plate at additional cost just to hold the Arduino and breadboard in place together.
- For Educators the one piece modular design means only one inventory point and the removal of the interaction distraction of a separate bare Arduino card, focus stays on the breadboard where the Learning is.
- The Center Inline pin configuration allows for easier teaching communication and direction, again focus stays front and center.
- BizzyBee Curriculum cards overlay the BZB Breadboard for push through parts and wiring diagrams, students can see all elements in a cohesive layout, no confusing wire mazes to connect the components.
- Added end user simplicity while maintaining and adding advanced feature sophistication for Power Users.
- Bridges the common gap between Breadboard circuit only and Shield Stack only Arduino experimentation. Eliminating the separation commonly found in the standard Arduino to breadboard pairing.
- The center inline nature of the BZBs output pins removes the "rats nest" wiring effect often seen in standard Arduino and breadboard pairings.
- Components can often be directly inserted into the BZB's pins eliminating or limiting unnecessary wiring where possible.
- The BZB1s standalone nature allows for a more stable wire management feature, no more un-wiring and pulling your Arduino out of a project to start another one, just grab a less expensive BZB1 and the processor travels with the project.
- Increased breadboard connections and footprint than you see with insertables like the Boarduino and Ardweeny, Once inserted every pin of an insertable takes up space and is always connected to full rows whether you use them in you project or not, with the BZB Breadboard you only use the pins and rows you need all the rest are free for your circuit.
- Larger amount of Breadboard rows and working space than standard Arduino, additional costing, mini-breadboard shield solutions. With the BZB Breadboard you get a full sized working environment at no extra cost.
- Got rid of JDNIT( Just Don't Need IT ) elements when a project has no need for the overhead of things like USB Serial or Shield Compatibility, but allowed for them to be brought back in easily and modularly if needed.
- Modular design allowed for the starter level BZB1 for students and multi-project needs to be less expensive than an Arduino UNO and kept the cost to scale of the mid-range BZB2 for Makers and New Users, as well as the BZB3, the most complex version, for Power Users and Teachers, commensurately priced with the Official Arduino family.
- The BZB2 and the BZB3 Breadboards can be used as USB FTDI Serial interfaces and 3.3 and 5 v power supplies for other electronic projects that do not require an Arduino, and even Basic Stamp and Propeller projects.
- The Outrigger Extender Interface is a 32 pin IO port available to all BZCORE Breadboards(BZB1, BZB2, BZB3 and LION series) This allows the connection of The Outrigger Extender for shield compatibility as well allowing the BZB Breadboard board to be plugged directly into any Outrigger IO enabled devices and robotics platforms.
- See the BZB Breadboard Demonstration video for full features and a more complex technical drill down
It does all of this and much more while maintaining Arduino compatibility to allow for you to learn and communicate with the diverse community of Arduino users as well as giving you the advantage of the huge Open Source code and knowledge bases that many Arduino users have shared and contributed to over the years. Visit arduino.cc for more Arduino info and resources.
The Outrigger Shield Extender repairs the "legacy" pin misalignment problem found on all official Arduinos
In addition to the Arduino Shield compatible headers, the Outrigger
Shield Extender has a second set of headers that finally repairs the
Arduino "misaligned pin" problem. The offset distance between digital
pins 7 and 8 is 160 mil (0.16"), not an even multiple of the 100 mil
spacing of the other pins. This has been a legacy "feature" and known
problem on all official Arduinos from a mistake on the the original
Arduino design.( see URL GOES HERE)
This has lead to the inability to use common 0.1 pitch perfboard and other standardized pcb boards directly with the Arduino Many additional component level solutions and addons have been created to try to address this problem over the years.
The Outrigger repairs this problem as the second set of headers on the Outrigger are fully 0.1 pitch 100 mil spacing, this completely removes the legacy problem while maintaining the original compatibility.
The BZB Breadboard Outrigger Interface connects your circuit experiments to the world.
`The BZB Outrigger Interface allows you to connect the Outriggger Shield Extender to your BZB Breadboard to bring the large library of Arduino compatible Shields and their many inputs, outputs and other features, into your circuit experimentation, but it is also designed to let you plug the BZB Breadboard into the outside world by incorporating directly into your larger projects so that your experiments can act as the brains or gatekeeper, control output and interact in many other ways with your more complex ideas.
- Need solderless circuit prototyping in your latest robot? Plug the BZB Breadboard in using the Outrigger Interface and add a stable platform to quickly test out your new circuit ideas and features.
- Need to figure out which sensor works best to measure temperature for your remote weather station or want to try out different light sensors for that solar tracking project, plug in a BZB Breadboard with built in Arduino using the Outrigger Interface and try them all, no soldering, no muss, no fuss.
- Not sure what motor driver circuit you want to use on that ranch gate opener you are building at the back of the farm, build a couple different BZBZs with your test circuits and swap them in and out, plug and play, without having to work with the electronic parts in the dirt.
The Ideas and Ease of Use of plugging your BZB Breadboard in using the Outrigger Interface are endless.
Thank you listening to our story and thank you for being part of the BZB Electronics Exploration Station kickstarter, we look forward to sharing many lessons and insights with you as more people get to use what we think is a great tool, the BZB Breadboard.
Daniel "BOZ" Krumlauf and Elaine "Zelda" Krumlauf
Founders of BZCORE TECHNOLOGIES
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges in this project are related to scale. We have produced this unit in a number of smaller run batches (5-50 pieces) several times, the first for prototyping, and then later several larger friends,family and fellow hacker beta runs to confirm the design for manufacturability, debug any problems and test out our parts supply chain.
Once the BizzyBee Breadboard went Gold in all of these elements we brought the project to Kickstarter for a larger quantity set of runs to allow more people to get their hands on this great tool.
While we have great hope for successful numbers to be met, we also know our production limitations, we know where the scales break, and the additional challenges begin.
We know because of our previous runs that we can produce 500 to 600 units internally in our own facilities with full shipping fulfillment fairly comfortably.
The challenges we will face is if because of success, those demand numbers exceed our capacity. As we began our kickstarter project we made arrangements ahead of time, through consultation and quote, to have a secondary facility produce quantities above BZCORE's in house capacity with unit numbers in the thousands, This secondary facility will also handle larger capacity shipping fulfillment and the reward levels were calculated based on this higher cost solution.
We also have a tertiary wishful thinking scale contingency, full factory run and supply chain arrangements for even higher unit demand quantities, which would mean the kickstarter performed well beyond any expectations and our wildest dreams.
Our plans are in place, our contingency to meet the challenges and risks of any level of demand have been arranged and we at BZCORE TECHNOLOGIES are prepared to limit as much of those risks to our end user backers as possible, through implementation of these proactive solutions.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The LION2 is a BETA run board of another family member in the BizzyBee tree. It is based on the Arduino Leonardo and the ATmega32u4 chipset rather than the more common 2 chip FTDI and Atmel328 combination found in most Arduinos (as well as in the Arduino-compatible BZB1,BZ2 and BZB3 modular configurations available in this Kickstarter.)
The beta of the LION2 is a single configuration cousin to the BZB modular configuration system, which allows for many interchangeable combinations among the several BZB levels and uses.There are a few tradeoffs to this beta board: there are a few new features to be had -- such as the built in ability for the single chip LION2 to operate as a USB host and a few additional input and output lines -- but you lose some ease-of-use in the serial interface and power abilities for some projects on this new platform.
Also, as it is a beta board, there may still be some growing pains and bugs to be worked out. (Note that the BZB1, BZB2 and BZB3 configurations all went through a similar process in development, with roughly 30 iterations and evolutions to reach the bug-free feature-rich set they are today.) The LION2 is just beginning that journey and will likely not reach full maturity until this time next year while the other BZB configurations in this Kickstarter are based on the V 3.0 mature boards.
The BZB Breadboard Kickstarter project is scheduled for a 30 day run. The calendar for production and shipping is as follows:
The final week of the Kickstarter, near the end of the week we will take an estimate of the needed PCB totals and will send our PCB production house the GOLD versions of each of the needed files and place our Printed Circuit Board quantities orders.
Week one to Week three:
The Kickstarter funds can take up to 20 days to clear, so it may cause a short delay to the beginning of the completed project as a whole, until the funds clear.
We will begin printing the documentation inserts that are needed by the totals. We will make the determination whether production and fulfillment will be handled within our facilities capabilities in house or be moved to our secondary production provider. Upon release of the Kickstarter funds we will begin mobilizing the supply chain orders directed to either our internal facility, or secondary provider and begin stabilizing pre-production facility workflow setups. Week four to Week six:
We will have received the Printed Circuit Board orders and begun performing confirmation test on their quality. We will receive the raw breadboard quantities and begin machining them for fitting and inclusion of the Printed Circuit Boards. Related parts and hardware will arrive and be prepared for production operations, shipped or sorted at the necessary BizzyBee production facility, our internal facilities or secondary commercial provider. A short batch run will be run at each facility and bench tested to confirm our test rigs on actual production run units rather than the current small batch units. Additional small batch ordering run will begin for Beta LION2 breadboards Week seven to Week eight:
Final go and Production run assembly will begin. Secondary Pre-order phase will begin. We will begin taking input on suggested recipients of the BZB Education Outreach School and Scout pool BizzyBee supplies. Week nine to Week twelve:
First run units will begin hitting the test rigs and begin moving to fulfillment and shipping. First shipping units should begin reaching backers by the end of week ten. Production assembly will begin on the LION2 limited run. STEM, school and scout packages will begin, shipping. Week thirteen to fourteen:
All Kickstarter individual and School Rewards should be fulfilled at this time. We will begin shipping the LION2 breadboards to the Sneak Peek Backers. We will announce the recipients and begin shipping the units designated from the BZB Education Outreach School and Scout pool. This should mark the end of the Kickstarter fulfillment phase. Production on the secondary pre-orders will begin assembly process. We do not anticipate any large shipping delays in either the supply chain or the fulfillment phase, due to holiday (Thanksgiving or Christmas) increased shipping volume. This calendar is based on a production run of 700 units, should unit totals increase beyond 1000 units some delays can be expected. This is the expected and planned calendar, any delays or missed milestone dates will be communicated to backers as quickly and as a preemptively as possible.
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- (30 days)